When Can I Travel after a Hair Transplant?
After you have had a hair transplant, immediate travel isn’t advisable; unless it is unavoidable. Technically, you should wait for a minimum of 1 to 2 days, even if you are heading home after the procedure.
Doctors advise patients to stay the night at a local hotel after the surgery; then fly the next day. Sleeping well helps your body to reboot after the surgery. The surgery does take a toll on your body and you need time to recover.
Additionally, stress that comes with the surgery, weighs on you as well. It is very common for you to sleep poorly before the procedure – due to anxiety or excitement. Hence, it is crucial that you catch up on that much needed sleep and let your body reset.
When it comes to holiday travel, your doctor will give you the green signal to holiday after about a fortnight, when the grafts are firmly anchored in to the scalp and you have recovered well from the surgery.
A hair transplant does not restrict you from traveling and you can travel the same day that you had the procedure; however, doctors say it’s definitely best to avoid the hustle and you should book your flight 2 – 3 days after your treatment, so that you have sufficient rest.
On the other hand, if you do not have the luxury to wait for 3 days and absolutely must travel following the surgery, then you need to take extreme care and precaution. Ensure that you do not hurt your scalp and keep away from any contact with the scalp while traveling. Strictly follow instructions given by the doctor in order to avoid any kind of complications. Your doctor will give you all the necessary information that you need for the trip, to keep your scalp safe.
Flying after A Hair Transplant -
If you plan to fly after your hair transplant, you must be aware that this could put your hair transplant at grave risk. Post the procedure, you are bound to have some degree of swelling in the scalp; and the cabin pressure will make it so much worse. The swelling may affect the forehead and eyes as well. Thus, doctors recommend not flying for at least a week after your hair transplant. This allows your body time to heal and to reduce the risk of complications or infections.
Your surgeon will provide you with specific guidelines about when it is safe for you to travel based upon the type of surgery done along with your individual health status. If you need to travel after your procedure, make sure that you diligently follow all post-operative mandates provided by your doctor.
Why Shouldn’t you Fly Soon after your Hair Transplant Surgery?
In addition to your scalp being fragile and swollen to some degree, the cabin pressure will significantly aggravate your condition. At a high altitude, the over all pressure is lesser than when you’re on ground. You already will be having slight pains, some amount of swelling, and a little bit of inflammation of the scalp. The pressure differences during the flight will put additional load on to the scalp and worsen your condition. All this will prolong the healing process and considerably affect the outcome of your surgery. Thus, make sure you have the pain medications your doctor prescribed and at no cost should you drink alcohol on the flight.
What’s more, there’s a strong possibility of your head getting hit by someone reaching out for a bag from the overhead compartment. Bizarre as it may seem, it happens a lot more often than you can imagine! So, exercise extreme care and precaution when people around you reach out for their overhead luggage.
Road travel and Hair Transplant -
Those traveling by road must use air conditioning in their cars to prevent sweating, since sweating triggers infection, more so, during the hot weather. Never keep the windows open, doing so will get a lot of dust in the scalp, which again causes infection and the wind too can dislodge the freshly transplanted grafts. Also, be very careful not to rub your head against the back rest. Most importantly, painstakingly follow all post-op care instructions laid down by your doctor. It is very essential that you tell your doctor your travel plans so as to ensure the best post-op care and to ward off potential complications.
At the New Roots Hair Clinic, we provide a patient tailored post surgery package and we are with you every step of the way, even after the surgery. Our team is on hand always to answer your doubts and queries and to lessen your worries.
No, your doctor will not recommend that you fly immediately after your surgery. Flying right after the procedure is fraught with quite a few complications. Your doctor will ask you to wait for 1 to 2 days. The real fear about air travel right after the hair transplant is the likelihood of the scalp getting hit when a fellow passenger reaches out for his bag from the overhead compartment. It does happen more than you might think!
What’s more, at a high altitude the pressure is way lesser than the pressure on the ground. As a result, the body tends to swell a little.
Consequently, if you must travel, make sure that you take the pain pills that your surgeon prescribes. Thus, doctors advocate that you stay the night at a local hotel after the surgery; and fly the next day.
Do not travel on the same day after your surgery; unless unavoidable. If you have to travel by car after your procedure, make sure that you roll the windows up the entire time in order to keep the dust and wind out - both can severely damage your freshly transplanted hair grafts.
Keep the air conditioning on all through the journey to prevent perspiration which is known to trigger infection of the scalp.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind when you are flying -
- Make sure that your head is well protected.
- Do not bend the head downwards and do not nod or shake your head.
- You are absolutely not allowed to carry heavy luggage.
- Use a neck pillow when sleeping.
- Make sure you take all the medications that have been prescribed by the doctor before you board.
- Be careful when someone reaches for the overhead luggage.
- Do not drink alcohol on the plane.
Those travelling by road must use air conditioning in the car to prevent sweating; since sweating triggers infection, more so, during the hot weather. Always keep the windows rolled up, keeping them down will get in a lot of dust in to the scalp, which can trigger infection too. Also, the wind can dislodge the grafts and adversely affect the prognosis of your surgery. When sitting, be very careful that you do not rub your head against the back rest.
Make sure that you tell your doctor your travel plans so that he will prescribe the best possible post-op care to avert complications.
You should aim to go out 7 to 10 days after the surgery. At the end of this period, you will have recovered completely from the surgery and will show barely visible signs of inflammation and scabbing. In case waiting that long isn’t possible, confer with your surgeon about how prudent it is to step out sooner. Remember that the grafts will take 15 days to embed fully in to the scalp and you must exercise extreme care and caution when you step out during this phase.